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WELCOME TO ZUT'S NAM PAGE

This page is dedicated to all the men & women of all the Armed Forces who took precious time out of their lives to do their part.That is,to do whatever it was their Country asked them to do.

Of course it would have been much easier for many of them to take a different road.After all...Canada is not all that far from the USA.

And for those who conscientiously objected to what it was we were doing.More power to them.I hold 'em no grudge and respect them for their convictions.But they can have plenty of space on another page.

This one is for those who actually went.Who actually picked up those weapons and did what had to be done.

War...any war,can never be a good thing.There are things that happen that no one in his right mind would ever want to experience again.But amid all the sweat and blood,believe it or not...there are some good things to take away from there.There are the sisters,and brothers you met along the way.Friends...? Buddies...?
for anybody who was there,you will absolutely know that the word,"FRIEND",does not do justice to the way we all felt about each other.

Whithin a very short while,those people would be BROTHERS,and in some cases SISTERS.You would know where each other was born & raised,where each other went to school,who was in each other's family,and who you left back stateside.
Who you were writing to,were engaged to,or married to.You would also be there when that significant other back in "the world" decided she'd had enough with that long distance romance,and thought it would be best to move on with her life.More times than not,with that guy who never served a day in his life.That infamous JODY!

Well,this then is my primary reason for putting this page here together.To try to make a connection again,with those old comrades from back in the day.

There should be a place where we can find each other.A place to get together once again.And to welcome each other home.

When we left that hot place so many years ago,we promised we would keep in touch.We vowed that once we got home,we would always be there for each other.
It is my feeling that one of the reasons so many of us still feel disjointed,and unconnected with the world around us.And still have problems in relationships and work.
It is that we are still in a state of limbo.Even though so many long years have passed...we are still attached to each other in ways that the civilian population will never come to know.At such a young age,to form such strong bonds...only to have yourself or them uprooted from that place.And never to know,"did he make it home"..."is he still alive"..."if I hadn't left,would things have been different"..."I wonder what that old bastard's been up to"...
Well,you get the idea.

So here is going to be my place on the web to see what can be done about getting back,some of what I've lost.

In doing so,I hope that others who may have these same kind of feelings,will be able to find some of what they lost as well.

I am going to put a few links to pages that I think are worthwhile for any Vet to check out.Whether it is a page I've found that shows how to get some benefits.A page that shows how to get in touch with some of the old guys.Or a page put together by fellow Vets that have the same things in mind as me.To honor our Veterans,and to help them and those interested in them to find a way to share their ideas,and dreams.As a disclaimer of sorts,if anyone who reads these pages,finds a link to a page I shouldn't have for one reason or another.Then please write and let me know.It is not my intention to embarass anybody or to take credit for work that isn't mine.When you come to a link,I'm pretty sure you will know if it is mine or not.Theirs will look professional,mine just half-assed.

Here's a little about who I am....
....My name is
Jim Davis.I live in South Jersey,a town called Mays Landing.
I joined the
Army in November of 1969 on the "buddy-plan".That meant that you and a friend could join up together,and you'd both get the same Basic Training,and AIT.Probably even the same duty assignment afterwards too.
Well,my friend and I had a super plan.We decided that we would go to
Ft Dix,NJ.for Basic,and we both signed up for Fixed Station-Radio Communication School at Ft.Monmouth,NJ(which was known as the Country Club of the Army at the time).
Boy,we'd be able to come home on weekends,and the jobs we'd get after we graduated AIT would virtually guarantee we'd not go to 'nam.And if we did...we would not have to worry about seeing any combat.
Well,I had never heard of "Murphy's Law"back then!

What happened on the day we were to get inducted was that they were remodeling the Newark,NJ Induction Facility. So we were sent instead to Philadelphia to get sworn in.Unbeknownst to us,everybody joining up from Philly got sent to Ft.Bragg,NC..Not to Fort Dix,NJ.
Oh-well!

Then once we arrived at Ft.Bragg,we proceeded to be processed in,like all new recruits.While standing in one line or another at the reception area,I looked over to my right,and could have swore to God,I just saw John Wayne go inside that building.So I asked one of the PFC's in charge of us,who the hell was that guy.He told me it was a Sgt 1st Class of the Special Forces...Wow..The Green Beret!!!
I asked the dude,what do you have to do to get in a unit like that?? He told me all I had to do was get out of this line and go stand in line at the door to his building with all the others.
So,this is what I did.Only there weren't any others in line over at his building.I was sick and tired of lines(already in my short Military Career,right).I was very happy to be the only one in line over here.
Well in a minute,there was this John Wayne guy filling up the doorway in front of me.He looked down at me and asked what I wanted.I answered that I wanted to find out how to get to be a Green Beret.

Well..he led me inside and proceeded to give me a battery of tests.
All kinds of stuff on there too.How would I do this if I was in this situation.And how would I do that.Well,it didn't take me long to finish up my tests.And I was told to sit in the waiting area until he went over them and saw what I had done.

Before long,and to my surprise,he came out and told me that out of the 6 people who had been tested that week,I had scored the highest.(Hot-Damn!)
I asked him,"What do I have to do now?"
He looked over my packet of records I had with me,and told me that before I could be accepted into his outfit,I would first have to sign a "waver"for the school I had already signed up for.This meant I'd be cancelled out from that one,and now I'd be reassigned to go to his schools.He briefly told me about the schools: Infantry(I knew that was the Combat Guys,then to AIRBORNE SCHOOL(Man,I knew I'd be able to get a good job when I got out if I learned how to work on planes and helicopters),and then I'd go on to Special Forces Schooling.I'd get to learn another language (I hoped it'd be Spanish,because I had 1 year of that in High School already).So I signed on the dotted line.

I couldn't wait to get back to the barracks that night and tell my buddy...the guy from home that I joined up with.I was positive that when he heard about how cool this was going to be,he'd be doing the same thing tomorrow!

Well,later on that night I told my friend what I did,and how neat it was,and then told him where to go the next day to do it himself.

I guess when you're a teenager like I was,you really don't think things through all the way sometimes.To make a long story short...he thought I was nuts,and said,"No Way",he was absolutely not going to do it!!!

well,he went on to Ft Monmouth after Basic....came home on weekends,and really had a pretty nice tour (California,Ethiopia)...not bad at all!
Me,I went to
Ft Jackson,S.C.for Infantry AIT.During my time there,I got German Measles once,and they had to put me in the hospital for a week.

After I came out they "re-cycle" me.That is,I was put in a fresh AIT unit,and started all over from scratch.After a couple more weeks of this,I came down with URI(upper Respiratory infection).Back to the ol' hospital I did go.And you guessed it,back to being re-cycled again...another new AIT Company.Believe me,I was getting pretty over it by now.All I wanted to do was graduate,and get assigned to a unit.
The heck with going to any more schools...I just had to get put in a permanent place.I didn't care any more about going to AIRBORNE SCHOOL,which by the way,I had now found out had nothing at all to do with working on planes and helicopters.They seriously thought I wanted to jump out of them.(...Come On!!!...)

Well,I did everything they asked of me while I was in AIT,but I went down to HQ's and signed myself another waiver.This time it was a waiver for AIRBORNE SCHOOL.Boy,was I relieved.Finally I was going to go to a real army Unit.

The day graduation,I was so happy to be getting out of there you just don't know(well,you probably do).We even got our pay,and our orders for reassignment.My pay was quite a bit more than some of the other guys,and my orders weren't there with it like the others.My Drill Sgt told me I'd better run on down to the Orderly Room and see what was up.

I have nothing against the National Guard or The Reserves.I honestly do not.But one thing that will always stand out in my mind,was when I went into our orderly room.There was a new Spec4,who was there doing his 2 weeks of mandatory Guard or Reserve Duty.And with a big shit-eating grin on his face,he handed me my orders and said,"Congratulations Pvt Davis...You are the 2nd man in the Company to get orders for Vietnam".(nice guy!)

After my leave at home,I went across the big pond.I went to Bien Hoi,and Long Binh where they assigned me to of all places the 101st AIRBORNE DIVISION.In a short while I was onboard one of those C-1-somethings,and heading North.
We stopped at Danang I guess to refuel the plane.It was hotter than the hammers of hell and we were all soaked through and through.I went into the Snack Bar.It was huge,and it was air-conditioned.I got a Coke that must've been about a quart size cup.As I sat there just checking things out,and relaxing,I saw a black guy in a Madras Plaid shirt & shorts wearing a boonie hat standing in line.The guy really looked familiar.He kept glancing at me too.He got his stuff from the line and came over to where I was sitting.

Lo and behold,it was Donald Mays,a friend of mine from Oakcrest High School back home.We sat there for quite a while talking about the old days back in the world.At school,where we ate lunch at the same table every day.No wonder he looked familiar.But who would ever expect to run into somebody from home so far away.

Well,time seemed like it didn't exist.
We talked so long...my plane took off heading for Phu Bai.Wouldn't have been quite so bad,but my AWOL BAG,with my DD214 file or whatever files they had given me, was under my seat in the plane.Never did find those.

Well,since there wasn't another plane heading up there until the next day,we figured I might as well stay over night at Donald's barracks.He was in the Air Force,and I mean to tell you they had some really nice barracks.There was even a movie theater on the base.Went and saw Cactus Flower with Goldie Hawn and Walter Matthau.
At the barracks they had those double bunks,upper and lower.I took the lower one.Just before I went to sleep,I took my dog-tags off and hung 'em on the springs of the upper mattress.They always bothered me when I tried to sleep...

Next day I was up early,and waiting for my next available ride to Camp Eagle,up in Phu Bai.I finally got up there later that evening around dusk.It wasn't till I had sat down on the plane,and we were in the air,that I remembered I had left my dogtags back at the barracks.Oh-well.

When I got to Phu Bai,I was sent next to Serts.That was the Screaming Eagle Replacement Training School.Here we were freshened up on our jungle training skills,and were taught how to rappel.The 101st didn't do any parachuting over there,but that rope stuff was awesome.They had a high tower,with one side being a flat wooden-board wall,and the other side was helicopter skids.You had to do it off both sides.If you didn't hold the rope just right you could get a pretty good rope burn on your hands.
Landing on your back was not encouraged either.

From here I was assigned to Charlie Company 1/506 Infantry Bn. 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) at Camp EvansOur Company Commander was Capt Mark Smith,his nickname was ZIPPO.He was a Special Forces guy who had started out over there as a Sgt in the 60's,then he got a field Commission,and was now a Capt.Had been there a long time,and spoke Vietnamese fluently.Carried an AK-47 in the field,and hardly carried any supplies.He was at home over there,and really had his shit together.He called us all Rookies.And by comparison to him...We most certainly were! My squad leader was Sgt Mark Hendrickson,but everyone knew him as Buckwhite.Put you in mind of the "Good Sgt",in the movie PLATOON...you know the guy played by Wilhem Defoe.Buckwhite had quite a moustache on him,and didn't keep his hair as short as the brass probably wanted him to.Used to sell the Berkley Barb in San Francisco before the Army days.Some say he was raised by the Hopi Indians....but I kinda doubted it.But the one thing about Buckwhite:His mission was to get all of the people placed in his care home in one piece.

We were all asked what our nicknames were.Nobody hardly ever went by their given name,at least not in our squad.My nickname was ZUT.We were instructed not to shave in the field.All you would do would be get jungle rot on your face,and who needed that.I tried to trim mine up once,but was reprimanded,to let it grow natural.Speaking of Jungle Rot,underwear were a thing we never used either.From all the sweating,there was no way to keep your family jewels from rotting off,unless you ditched your shorts,and tried to keep tohse babies dry as possible.Don't forget to check yourself for leaches every chance you get,too.And tie those straps just below your knees,and above your calves.You sure don't want any of those blood sucking creatures up there where the sun don't shine! We were in the jungle.We were a wild bunch.We survived because learned how to adapt.And to live as though we were born out there.And the little folks respected us.But before I ever got into any actual jungle duty(the boonies,we called it),I first did about a week at a firebase.Zippo hated Firebases.

But my first time away from home,Camp Evans,that is...was to a Firebase called Ripcord.My foxhole buddy was Jerry Brinkey.All day long we would check the wire,and resupply our foxhole/bunker position with beau coup ammo.Loads of Grenades,40 mm rounds for the thumper.Ammo for the M-60.See,Brinkey(I might be spelling this wrong...sorry,Jerry) was the 60-gunner and I being a large-built individual,was assigned to him as his assistant gunner.It was set up in such a way that you would be standing chest-high in this hole.Two of you.Directly behind you,was a little crawl space that led into a little sleep space.There was only room for two guys in each spot.So,at night,one of you would be awake,and the other would take a break.You could sleep or write a letter or read one,if you had one.
All night long we would fire out into the night.It was called H & I.It stood for harrassment and some god-damn thing.

A day or two after we were there Brinkey got wounded in the hand by some shrapnel.He was sent back to Camp Evans.That was my first day as The Gunner.I got a guy assigned to me as assistant gunner.His name was Larry Sterzik.He loved beer,and his dad was a boxer,I think.He was from either around Chicago or St.Louis,if I'm not mistaken.

Here is the next page of my 'Nam recollections.If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to email me at jimgusto@webtv.net.If you'd like to go to my main homepage,where you'll be directed to all kinds of links and such just head on over here toJim Gusto's Pages!Thanks for stopping,and take care of yourself...Please let me take time to give Doc Gecko a great big Thank you,for the use of his great graphics.If you want to see more of what a site really ought to look like,you owe it to yourself to click onto his name!